Highways England is calling on road users to be patient if they are delayed by roadworks and to respect the road workers who are doing a ‘difficult job’.
The plea comes as the government agency reveals a catalogue of serious incidents and near misses, ranging from motorists driving into coned off areas where road workers are working – to physical and verbal abuse.
There are nearly 300 incidents each week, reported by road workers across Britain’s 4,300 miles of motorways and strategic A roads.
Of the 3,500 incidents recorded between July and September 2017, 150 were deemed ‘serious’, leading to four road workers and two motorists being injured.
To highlight the issue, Highways England has published a video (featured) in which a driver ‘jeopardised the lives’ of road workers.
The driver was stopped at the site of road works on the A120 in Essex, but then drove at speed in an attempt to avoid Essex Police.
Highways England is reminding motorists of their responsibility while driving through roadworks, including to slow down, obey speed limits and signs – and ‘think what it would be like if you had to contend with lorries and cars driving through your place of work’.
Mike Wilson, chief highways engineer, Highways England, said: “While we plan our maintenance and improvement works to minimise inconvenience to drivers, some road closures are necessary, and ultimately for the benefit of road users.
“Drivers who selfishly and illegally ignore these traffic restrictions (to) force their way through are putting both their lives and those of our road workers at risk – all to save a few minutes on their journey.”